Taper candles are tall, thin candles, which burn for varying lengths of time, depending on the height of the candle. When people think of candles, taper candles are often what spring to mind, since they are extremely common and very widely used. Any store which sells candles should offer taper candles or tapers, as they are often called, in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and scents. It is a very good idea to keep a few tapers around the house in the event of a power outage.
There are a number of ways to make taper candles. Some companies make their tapers in the traditional way, by dipping. Dipped candles are made by repeatedly dipping a wick into a pot of wax, with most producers looping an extra-long wick so that they make two candles at once. One advantage to dipping is that it allows candle producers to change colors, creating a colorful array of layers in a single candle. Well-made dipped candles are also very smooth, although some producers deliberately create a lumpy look for aesthetic reasons.
Tapers can also be made in molds. Molds are convenient because they allow for mass production, very regular-looking candles, and unusual shapes. For example, a taper could be molded into a star shape, or ridges could be made in a mold to create a ridged candle. When tapers are molded, candle producers can also include decorations within the candle, like dried flowers, beads, and so forth.
It is also possible to produce tapers from sheets of beeswax. Beeswax tapers are made by rolling the beeswax around the wick, and they are famous for having a very rich, delicate scent which many people find enjoyable. Beeswax tapers tend to be significantly more expensive than conventional wax tapers.
Waxes used for tapers can vary considerably. Cleaner-burning waxes like soy are popular, although paraffin and other materials can be used as well. The wax can also be dyed or scented, if desired, although plain white taper candles are generally quite abundant.
Tapers must be burned in a candle holder, or they will fall over, potentially spreading fire in addition to making a big mess. There are a wide range of candle holder styles available to mesh with all sorts of interior design schemes. In a pinch, a taper can be held in a jar packed with sand, with the sand holding the candle steady while it burns.